Around two years ago Young Professionals of Seattle was finally ready to rebrand. Or rather, brand itself, to begin with. We were so focused on the growth of the user base, events and partners, that we neglected a very large piece of the puzzle, how did we want to be perceived?
A strategic and focused brand is so important. The brand is the roadmap, leading the customer to the heart of the company - its mission and overall focus. Research shows that consumers spend a mere 8 seconds determining if they like a product at all. And it’s in those crucial 8 seconds that the brand’s colors, layout, fonts, focus and overall look and feel must connect to the true identity of everyone it represents. Talk about pressure.
Around two years ago Young Professionals of Seattle was finally ready to rebrand. Or rather, brand itself, to begin with. We were so focused on the growth of the user base, events and partners, that we neglected a very large piece of the puzzle, how did we want to be perceived? How did we want our members to see us? We had the logo and a voice but not a 30-second elevator pitch, detailing who we are and what we do; essential for new members and partners alike. Enter a full branding of YPOSeattle.
In those previous six years the YPOSeattle leadership team had discussed the organization’s mission and ideals. It was clear, we wanted a brand that could evolve with our membership base effectively. Enter, a small studio, led by Identity Architect/Principal John B Johnson. A unique design studio focusing on revealing the true identity of organizations and individuals by helping them think small before they go big, because (as they say) everything starts small™.
As you can imagine, once we “rebranded”, we didn’t stay “small” for long. For anyone who has attended our events or even visited us digitally (e.g. blog or social media platforms) you might have noticed that our new brand gives you (the members and partners) more of a voice. Quite simply, our logo looks like quotation marks for a reason. When we sat down with a small studio for the first time, we were adamant that both our member’s and partner’s voices would be seen and heard. We didn’t just want comments on social media but integrating them more into our advertising, logo and overall brand. It was the translation of our team’s “dream” from a small studio to an impactful brand that has made YPOSeattle even more successful.
The past 2 years have been a fun ride. As VP of Marketing and Biz Dev lead, I have seen firsthand what a more focused brand and effective messaging can do to an organization. Growth, growth and more growth (oh did I mention growth?). In a brief two years, we launched YP Elite, YP Impact, YPOx, our “Last Tuesday” happy hours are averaging 150+ people per event AND we signed some of our largest (company size) partners to date (oh hey, Delta & Pemco)!
As cheesy as it sounds, the sky’s the limit. We were given a brand that allows us to evolve authentically and organically when we need to. As we onboard new members, develop more effective marketing strategies for partners and integrate the two entities into our events, I am encouraged by the momentum and couldn’t be more excited for this new year and many more to come.